Food & Nutrition Spotlight On...Food Acceptance

‘Tis the Season…for the Health Benefits of Nutmeg

Written by Jodi Graber

Nutmeg is a popular spice, especially in the fall and winter. It is used in seasonal favorites such as pumpkin spice lattes and eggnog and packs a nutritional punch.

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The Spotlight On… column by Jodi Graber highlights a particular type of food, healthy or not. Jodi educates us about the nutritional value of foods to help us make the healthiest choices we can. Read and learn about these foods so you can continue to feed your body the proper energy to achieve a balanced healthy diet.

What’s the secret to goodness in pumpkin spice lattes? You wouldn’t be far off to think pumpkin. But add the word spice and you dig deeper to uncover the richness of nutmeg.

The botanical name for nutmeg is Myristica fragrans. This evergreen tree is the only one in the world that yields two spices, nutmeg and mace. The trees are native to Indonesia and are also plentiful in the Caribbean, particularly Grenada. Nutmeg is actually the seed of the tree and about the size of an apricot. Patience is indeed a virtue with nutmeg: the first harvest occurs seven to nine years after planting; the tree reaches full growth after 20 years.

Nutmeg has a rich, robust aroma with a sweet and savory flavor. It can resemble the sweetness of cinnamon or the heartiness of clove. In addition to pumpkin spice, nutmeg is omnipresent in eggnog. Go ahead and toast the holiday season and enjoy some health benefits.

Want to hear the good news about nutmeg so plentiful this time of year? Not only is it delicious, it is nutritious, too. It’s important to state that because consumption of nutmeg is often in bits – a dash here, a teaspoon there, you aren’t going to get your recommended daily allowance of nutrients from nutmeg. But think of it as a helping hand, adding valued vitamins and minerals to your diet, as opposed to the “empty calories” often consumed in processed foods.

First and foremost, nutmeg is rich in manganese, a trace mineral that supports bone health, wound healing, metabolism, and regulation of blood sugar as well as other bodily functions. Health benefits also come from copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, B-vitamins, and vitamins A and C. In addition, nutmeg retains its fiber even about being ground, contributing to blood sugar stabilization and healthy digestion. Many experts tout the health benefits of nutmeg when speaking about digestive health, pain relief, brain health, cleansing, oral health, and stable blood pressure.

The health benefits of nutmeg aren’t new. Take a look at this 16th century description: Nutmegs be good for them which have cold in their head, and doth comfort the sight and brain, & the mouth of the stomach & is good for the spleen (source: Karen Castillo Farfán/NPR).

There’s no doubt enjoying nutmeg in seasonal delicacies, and all year round in a variety of dishes, is a good part of an overall healthy diet. But, it is also important to note that over-consumption of nutmeg, approximately two tablespoons or more, can be toxic to the body. Individuals have reported dizziness, nausea, vomiting, slowing down of brain function and depression, among other symptoms.

So let’s stick to the dash here, a teaspoon there and enjoy nutmeg and its nutritional benefits. Want to make your own healthy eggnog with nutmeg? Try this vegan recipe from Elana’s Pantry.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

I’ve accepted that I have long arms. Sometimes I get frustrated when I’m shopping because sizes don’t fit like I want them to, but then I remind myself that I have long arms, and smile. I’m still working on accepting my thighs. This is a tough one for me.

What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I’ve learned to appreciate that I’m a giver. Sometimes it takes a lot of time for me to give to another, whether it involves shopping, or preparing, or researching, but I enjoy making others happy. I’m still working on appreciating that I’m a night owl. I want to “change” and come to love waking up early, because then I have productive days.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

I’m proud of my marriage – sharing my life, unconditionally, with another human being. Although I am proud of this, I know that it is important for me to keep the dream alive – by continuing to do what I need to do to be the best version of myself, so that I can be a wonderful wife.

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth – we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are – your identity?

My not-so-perfect way is my perfectionism. It leads to procrastination and that slows me down. Things take longer than they need to. I can be a lot more productive by letting go of my perfectionism.

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!)

 Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…”

I love my blue eyes.




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About the author

Jodi Graber

Jodi Krizer Graber, founder of Bravo! Wellness, inspires, educates and empowers busy, overwhelmed, stressed-to-the-max individuals to gain control of their well-being and take on the role of CEO…of their life. A lifetime of “struggling” to live up to other people’s expectations, of feeling “not good enough,” being pulled in too many directions and constant comparing to classmates and colleagues took its toll on Jodi’s physical and emotional well-being. Though she earned respect and success as an executive in the performing arts field, it came at a steep price: an eating disorder. In her quest to be perfect, she was destroying her life. Change was needed and it came in the form of Jodi learning to love herself and understanding how to nourish her body, mind and spirit with healthy food. In addition to supporting her clients, Jodi is happiest when in the Berkshires with her husband, watching hockey or Alabama Crimson Tide football and sipping tea. Connect with Jodi on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. • •

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